A recent CMR article has been selected as a featured article by the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design.
Engineers have taken an interest in origami and developing it further for applications. Characteristics of origami of particular interest to engineers include: (1) stowability, (2) portability, (3) deployability, (4) part number reduction, (5) manufacturability from a flat sheet of material, (6) a single manufacturing technique (folding), (7) reduced assembly, (8) ease of miniaturization, and (9) low material volume and mass. Several of these attributes are of particular value in aerospace applications and it is anticipated that many more aerospace mechanisms could be developed through the use of a design process that adapts origami characteristics for use in devices and products. The research presented in this paper has two main objectives: to demonstrate that a design framework can be created to more reliably use origami patterns and principles as the basis for aerospace mechanisms and provide examples that illustrate an approach to designing origami-adapted products. This paper presents the origami-adapted design process, which is then illustrated and tested using three examples of preliminary design: an origami bellows to protect the drill shafts of a Mars Rover, an expandable habitat for the International Space Station, and a deployable parabolic antenna for space and earth communication systems.